If you’ve got social media you know who they are. The gleaming white smiles of the ‘beautiful people’ who use those things that You like are inescapable. They are human billboards and television commercials of today made all the more palatable because of their humanity. Besides this, though, who or what are they?
The first big question is: can anyone be an influencer? Now, broadly speaking, yes anybody can do it as there are no restrictions on what the relationship between the influencer and product can be. However, there does have to be one. In a nutshell, an influencer has to be a person who has a following in a particular niche. For example, Love Island contestants become social media influencers because they’re beautiful and beauty product manufacturers know people will buy their products if someone attractive is advertising it.
What are the types?
Celebrities – In a way, all influencers are celebrities but let’s not pull that thread. Here, we specifically mean those who are household names. This type of marketing has been done for years but now with social media celebrities can reach people everywhere at all times, what with their gigantic followings.
Industry Experts – These are those respected in their chosen field and can often be academics. Marketers utilise these people to appeal through links to articles or pieces written by them and can be utilised in any industry.
Bloggers – These influencers often work closely with industry experts and will quote them in their blog posts as the line between traditional and social media is blurring. However, these influencers are not always ‘professionals’ and so rely on the loyalty of their following to keep them relevant as influencers.
How are they successful?
They know their audiences. Just like all forms of marketing, if you know your audience, you know what you’re getting. These people are respected within their chosen fields but that doesn’t mean they can say whatever they like and everyone will believe them. It’s a game of trust and often followers have a nose for anything disingenuous, so staying true to one’s brand is key. Also working and networking with other influencers to build a consensus around a certain opinion works.
Who are some examples?
Zoella- fashion and beauty Vlogger
Lucky Blue Smith- Model
David Beckham- ex-footballer